So it’s been an excruciatingly long time since we’ve updated this, and hopefully with some new developments (that we can’t elaborate on at this juncture, unfortunately) the time between posts will be much shorter.
We had to post now, however, because we had some news to dispense and someone(s) to thank.
First, we welcomed our second Assistant Brewer, Brett David Foster on October 12, 2012. A fiery red head like his dad, Brett came into the world at, 8lbs 6.5 oz and 20 inches. His sister, our first Assistant Brewer, and Assistant to the COO, Abigail, absolutely adores him. The Forest Trail Brewery family is happy, and healthy, but this is news a lot of you already knew. The story that follows is an example of a small business going COMPLETELY out of its way to help welcome a new baby, despite the lack of a real connection between it and the family.
Matt loves beer. That’s quite obvious. But specifically, one of his favorite styles is Saison, the medium bodied, slightly spicy beer made famous in the farmlands of Belgium. Additionally, he loves beers with a funk. A tart, almost sour flavor usually derived from the addition of one of a few different yeast strains, including Brettanomyces (Brett for short). One might connect some dots, and conclude that we named our second child after Matt’s favorite yeast strain. That’s not true. Or at least that’s not entirely true. We like to call it a happy coincidence. It started as a joke…then we decided we liked it! There is a hideous rumor that we were going to name him “Brett Porter” after a beer Matt has in the design stage. Also mostly not true. Truth is, Matt went to college with a courageous young man named Brett, whose personal strength is something that stuck with him through the years (ok, so that’s the back up story!).
Moving forward a month or so after Brett’s birth. Matt was working at Bin Ends Wine on a Friday for their Craft Beer Sessions. This particular night featured Boulevard Brewery and their Saison-Brett. As the night wore on, the distribution company rep congratulated Matt on the birth with a bottle of Saison-Brett (the reps come with stock for the tasting, and at the end of the night, this was one of a few bottles left that hadn’t been cracked). When he returned home and told his wife the story, they noted that the bottle had the year “2012” written on it, and commented on how nice it would be to save that bottle as a commemoration of Brett’s 2012 birth. Then Matt got an idea. Each bottle of Saison-Brett is individually numbered, meaning there could be a Bottle Number 1012 out in the world. Knowing the fairly limited distribution of the beer (MO and the Eastern Seaboard) he thought it might not be out of the question to track that bottle down, using various beer circles. He double-checked the bottle numbers he had in stock at the store, then fashioned an email to Boulevard.
He told Boulevard of his intentions of seeking out the bottle, and how since the bottles were individually numbered, he they might have an idea which case, on which pallet, and to which state the bottle may have gone. Matt was pretty sure the beer world could help him out from there. He expected to get one of two responses. Either they’d say “Yes! That beer went to Delaware!” or, “Sorry, bud. No clue, but congrats!” This is the email he received from Boulevard’s Creative Director, Payton Kelly:
Thanks so much for your message, and congratulations on the birth of your son Brett!
I have good news and bad news:
Unfortunately, we have no way to find an individual bottle of Saison-Brett. The bottles in that release have long since been scattered to the four winds.
Your appreciation for our beers and your loyalty and hard work should not go unrewarded, however…I have an idea that may serve as a suitable commemorative of Brett’s arrival. I hope you’ll like it. May we have your mailing address?
Creative Director, Boulevard Brewing Company
2501 Southwest Boulevard
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
(Personal Information Redacted)
Matt forwarded his mailing address, with no real expectations. However, as the pictures will show, on December 17, 2012, Matt received what has been described (by more than just us) as “one of the coolest things a brewery has ever done for a customer”.
Not only did Payton and John McDonald (Founder and President) respond with a copy of the label numbered 1012, they MATTED and FRAMED the label, then signed their work. It’s the most beautiful, amazing bit of customer service/PR we have ever seen, let alone experienced! Not only does Boulevard make some great beer, but they are made up of some amazing people. Kudos, and thanks, guys! This will be hung prominently in Brett’s room. We can’t wait to tell him the story!